When the Marriage is Over. How to File for Divorce in Arizona.

What happens when wedded bliss is no longer blissful in Arizona? Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in the state of Arizona, the divorce rate is almost fifteen percent higher than the national average?

If you have a covenant marriage in Arizona, it's harder to file for divorce.
What are some of the reasons to file for divorce? // Canva

A variety of factors can lead to divorce, but if you've never been through the process, what does it take to get a divorce in the State of Arizona?

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Filing For Divorce in Arizona

According to eDivorce, Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. That means neither spouse is required to prove the other spouse did something wrong in order to end a marriage.

Verbal or physical abuse in a marriage is grounds to file for divorce.
Verbal or physical abuse in a marriage is grounds to file for divorce. // Canva

If one spouse believes the marriage is irretrievably broken and there's no reasonable prospect of reconciliation, then they can legally file for divorce.

Ending a Covenant Marriage in the State of Arizona

There is an exception to the no-fault divorce in Arizona. If the persons seeking divorce in Arizona are part of a covenant marriage, they can only file for divorce under exceptional circumstances.

Irretrievably broken, ending a marriage, spousal cheating
Most enter marriage with high hopes. But what if it's irretrievably broken? // Canva

The state of Arizona began to legally recognize covenant marriages in 1998. The concept of a covenant marriage began with the intent to preserve the institution of marriage and to prevent quick divorces.

Legal Dictionary explains,

A covenant marriage is one that requires premarital counseling and a declaration of intent to enter into a lifelong relationship.

File for divorce if one spouse is imprisoned.
If one spouse is imprisoned. // Canva

Spouses in a covenant marriage need to prove one of the following circumstances as grounds for divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Abandonment for at least one year
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence or emotional abuse
  • Habitual drug or alcohol abuse
  • A spouse has been sent to prison or received a death sentence
  • Both parties have been living separately and continuously without reconciliation for at least two years
  • A mutual agreement has been made between the parties to end the marriage
Adultery could end the marriage
Adultery could end a marriage. // Canva

One More Requirement for Divorce

Arizona law requires one more condition to end a covenant marriage. Either spouse must live in Arizona for at least 90 days before filing for divorce.

The divorce can take months or even longer. It all depends on how complex the divorce is, and on how willing the divorcing spouses are to cooperate in the process.

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